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Dual Executive Essay

1192 words - 5 pages

10/10/96Dual ExecutiveThe idea of an elective head of state for the American chief executive, in its conception, was virtually without precedent. The idea of an American dual presidency, split between domestic and foreign arenas is itself without precedent. A dual presidency would suit America well due to the pressures of the office of President of the United States. As Commander-in-Chief, the President bears incredible pressures and responsibilities. The President not only has power in the United States, but also tremendous influence throughout the world. It is not arrogant to change the presidency in order to manage America's vast interests all over the globe. The US is certainly not isolationistic anymore, so creating an office for a foreign affairs executive is simply realistic. Thus, the President is not only torn between domestic and foreign responsibilities, but s/he must find time to campaign. A dual presidency with a domestic and foreign leader could divide these campaigning duties. In addition, a dual presidency is better adapted to handle simultaneous crises. A dual presidency is a modern day answer to the realities of the American presidency.Essentially, the idea of a dual executive is rooted in the concept of a pluralexecutive. Back in the time of the writing of the Constitution, some anti-federalists wanted a weak executive. This weak executive was called a plural executive or an executive council. (Storing 49) The purpose of such a plural executive was not only to weaken the executive, but also to prevent a monarchy from ruling. In fact, an anti-federalist named Randolph opposed an executive-of-one so much that he believed it to be the "foetus (fetus) of the monarchy."(Storing 93) Yet today the threat of monarchy is laughable.The proposed dual executive has no intentions of weakening that branch. Rather, a dual executive makes the branch more efficient, focused, and in touch.'Plural' is not a fitting term for the dual executive. This is because a plural executive implies several office holders, or a committee. The more people, the more chaos and disunity occurs.In the 70th chapter of The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton made a case for an executive with a great deal of unity. If power was concentrated in a single chief magistrate, then the branch would be more cohesive. Hamilton relied on the failures of plural executive in the history of Rome and Greece to make a case against executive councils.Some may argue that by dividing the executive office, it saps the energy and vigor required of the job. Inversely, it can be argued that the President has so much to do that his energy is weakened by simply being spread too thin. The latter is true since America is such anincredible world power. When Hamilton was writing against a plural executive, he never could have predicted America's role in the world.An example of what this dual executive is not, is Uruguay's multi-member presidency. From 1918 to 1933 the directly elected...

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